The Kiev 88 was made in the Arsenal factory in Kiev, Ukraine as an almost direct clone of the Hasselblad 1600F. The original model, called Salyut, went into mass production in 1957. Since then several variations of the model has been sold under different names. For example Salyut C, Kiev 80, Zenith 80, Kiev 88, Kiev 88CM. Earlier models have a screw type lens mount, the later versions (like mine) use Pentacon Six-lenses.

Even though they look practically the same, neither the lenses or the film backs are compatible with Hasselblad cameras. However, in most cases the viewfinders will fit the 1600F and 1000F models. (Come to think of it, perhaps also the V-series?)

Before you start using your Kiev 88 for the first time, there are a few things you should be aware of:

  • First up: don't do anything without first winding the shutter and thereby advancing the film. For example, changing the shutterspeed before winding the camera will permamently damage the shutter mechanism.
  • Secondly: only rotate the shutterspeed dial clockwise. You can't be too safe.
  • Thirdly: when loading the film back, make sure the film spool axel engages with the winding lever, thereby setting the frame counter to 1. If you don't, your images will overlap eachother on the film, ruining the intire roll.

So far I have only shot two rolls with my Kiev 88, learning the importance of proper film loading the hard way. (Oops.) The images below were shot on Christmas Eve, using Kodak Tri-X 400 at box speed.